Is Black Friday real or a scam

November 27th is Black Friday, the day retailers offer extensive discounts on numerous products. The offers often extend to the coming “Cyber ​​Monday”, sometimes to an entire “Black Friday week”. In fact, retailers make a large part of their annual sales on these days, also because many consumers take the opportunity to shop for their Christmas gifts. Due to the pandemic, it is currently the online shops that are vigorously promoting “bargain hunting” on their websites and by e-mail.

Also involved: Fraudsters who take advantage of the “run” on the special offers. SPIEGEL is currently warning of criminals who use numerous tricks to steal money or personal data. A big problem are fake shops, for example, which supposedly offer goods for very low prices, but do not deliver anything after the order process, and also do not repay the money. The number of these fake shops is currently increasing rapidly. Another trick is e-mails that claim to come from reputable and well-known online shops, but are actually sent by dubious and opaque senders. These often contain links. If you click on this, you get to that of the criminals.

SiBa generally advises, but especially now, to be careful. Check whether the supposed online shop where you want to buy an item actually exists: If the offers on Black Friday or Cyber ​​Monday are still far too cheap, the imprint or data protection declaration is missing and there are negative reviews on the Internet , it is most likely a fake shop. You should also be skeptical if only prepayment is offered. If possible, use online shops that offer payment on account as well as the return of goods and a money-back guarantee.

Don't fall for phishing emails. You can recognize phishing attempts by the lack of a personal salutation and by a conspicuously high number of spelling and grammar errors. SiBa recommends checking the sender's email address. As a rule, this does not refer to the supposed online shop.

Take your time, don't shop in a hurry. Don't let countdowns put you under pressure. Research online whether the offer is actually cheap or whether it has been offered permanently and elsewhere for weeks at the same price.

The BSI, the Federal Office for Information Security, published its new brochure “Secure Payments in E-Commerce” last week. SiBa recommends downloading this brochure. There you will find many questions and answers about various online payment methods. DeutschlandSAFE has published further tips for safe online shopping in the Cyberfibel.